FL: Cows eat grass! That’s what they are supposed to eat, ideally while grazing outside in the sun and fresh air. Cows are ruminants, with multiple stomachs and a unique ability to break down grass. They are not supposed to eat corn or soy (especially not GMO corn and soy). Changing their natural diet has lead to more illness and the need to use bigger doses of antibiotics. You should always look for butter (and beef) from grass-fed cows. Butter from grass fed cows is packed with health-supporting vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K2, which supports bone and heart health, vitamin A, which supports thyroid and heart health, and CLA or conjugated linoleic acid, which helps reduce belly fat and encourages muscle growth.
Q: So how do you feel about reduced-fat foods or skim milk?
FL: Eat real food, as close to nature as possible. It’s what we do to food that is a problem — processing, refining, reducing and altering in general. Forget about reduced fat and skim milk. The less processing the better. If you’re going to eat fat, choose good quality and go for full-fat. Eat avocados, use olive oil or coconut oil (yes coconut oil is healthy) in cooking, have nuts, wild salmon, grass-fed butter, and pastured grass-fed beef.
Q: Is there anything else about fat that we’ve been told that is flat-out wrong?
FL: People have become so afraid of fat. They forget that fats are important for satiety, absorption of minerals, fertility, skin, hair, nails, memory — I could go on. It’s also important to remember that vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble — they need fat to be absorbed. If you take a vitamin D supplement, please make sure to take it with a meal that includes some fat so that you can absorb it.
We now understand that weight gain is very closely linked to insulin production — foods that cause spikes in our glycemic index (i.e. sugars) are largely responsible for fat production. Healthy fats, such as olive oil, grass-fed butter and avocados, don’t raise the glycemic index; they actually allow the body to very efficiently convert these fats into usable calories.